There are a few different ways to fill the space in a tooth after decay or an old filling has been removed. Fillings are common. Onlays are another option. They sit on the tooth, building its shape. Inlays, however, are placed directly inside the space that is left from the removal of decay, or an old filling.
Inlays are made at a dental lab and are either porcelain or gold. They are far more durable than fillings and not much of the tooth structure needs to be removed in order to place the inlay. The strength of the tooth is increased by up to 75%. Porcelain inlays are made to match the coloring of the existing tooth.
The inlay procedure is divided into two visits. The first visit is when the decay or old filling is removed. An impression is taken of the tooth and adjacent teeth. A mold is made and sent to the lab. A temporary filling is placed. The second visit is when the temporary filling is removed and the inlay is cemented into the tooth.
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